OPKO Health has announced the appointment of Akhtar Ashfaq, MD, FACP, FASN to the position of senior vice president, clinical research and development of OPKO Health's renal division, effective immediately. In this role, Dr. Ashfaq will support the ongoing adoption of Rayaldee (calcifediol) extended-release capsules by healthcare professionals who care for patients with stage 3 or 4 chronic kidney disease (CKD). He will lead the further development of Rayaldee for the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism (SHPT) in adults with stage 5 CKD and vitamin D insufficiency who require regular hemodialysis. He also will lead the development of Alpharen (fermagate) tablets for the treatment of hyperphosphatemia in adults with stage 5 CKD.
Dr. Ashfaq was previously with AstraZeneca, where he served as executive director and head of the CKD Programme within global medical affairs. Prior to Astra Zeneca, Dr. Ashfaq was with Amgen where he served as medical director and north american medical lead for Epogen and Aranesp. He is an academic nephrologist by training and has more than 15 years of clinical experience.
"We are proud to have Dr. Ashfaq join our growing team that is focused on developing and commercializing new products for CKD patients," stated Phillip Frost, MD, chairman and chief executive officer of OPKO Health. "Dr. Ashfaq will play a major role in expanding our renal product offerings which are designed to improve the treatment of SHPT and hyperphosphatemia in CKD patients."
OPKO Health is a diversified healthcare company that seeks to establish industry-leading positions in large, rapidly growing markets. The diagnostics business includes Bio-Reference Laboratories, the nation's third-largest clinical laboratory with a core genetic testing business and a 400-person sales and marketing team to drive growth and leverage new products, including the 4Kscore prostate cancer test and the Claros 1 in-office immunoassay platform.